CREATIVE. INTROSPECTIVE. INQUISITIVE.
I was born in London, Ontario Canada in September 1986 with the help of an anonymous sperm donor. My mother’s husband at the time was infertile so she became pregnant through a small fertility program affiliated with the University of Western Ontario where she was told her donor was a medical resident.
My mom separated from her first husband when she was about three and I learned the truth of my origins at the age of seven when my mom married my dad, the man who raised me (and legally adopted me).
For most of my childhood, it wasn’t a topic that was discussed a lot, but I began questioning my origins as a teenager and began searching in my early 20s – I took my first commercial DNA test in 2009.
In 2018 I was able to identify my biological father after matching one of his first cousins through AncestryDNA. Unfortunately, I discovered my father passed away about three years before I could find him, but I’ve been able to make contact with his younger brother and family and I’m slowly working through that.
As an advocate, I am one of the co-founders of the Donor Conceived Alliance of Canada in serving as a voice for donor-conceived Canadians in calling for changes to laws that protect us.
In March 2018, I and a number of concerned Canadian donor-conceived people formed DCAC in response to a troubling piece of legislation under consideration by the Canadian House of Commons which would have restored payment to gamete donors and surrogates.
While the entire fertility industry establishment was backing the bill, donor-conceived people were not meaningfully engaged and did not have a seat at the table: we changed this equation. We were able to raise our voices, organize and start speaking as a collective body in rejecting this framework, and thankfully the bill was ultimately unsuccessful.
In the last three years, I’ve participated in Health Canada consultations in reframing federal legislation governing assisted reproductive technologies, I’ve had numerous conversations with federal legislators directly along with passionately sharing my story with media outlets across the country, aiming to protect the rights of people like me.
My organization collaborated with our partner organizations around the world in developing May 31st as the International Day for the Right to Genetic Identity.
I also serve as one of the administrators of We Are Donor Conceived, one of the largest communities of donor-conceived people in the world.
I’m a journalist residing just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and I am presently working on fertility fraud legislation under consideration by the Ohio legislature in collaboration with Adoption Network Cleveland.